Triathlon journey 2016 so far.
I started planning my 2016 training in the Autumn of 2015, as most of have a bit of relax in the run up to Christmas. I entered the Challenge Wanaka 70.3 event in New Zealand Feb 2016 and IM Austria in June 2016. To give me some discipline and a structured plan together I joined up with Steve Clark at offthatcouch fitness. Short term plan to get round Wanaka, then build for Austria.
With support from Nicola we planned our 3 week trip to New Zealand, primarily to see our son, working there and meet an old friend Moira Tarry. The race was planned for our last weekend. Moira has completed multiple Ironman and Challenge events including IM Bolton, IM New Zealand, Challenge Wanaka, Capetown and Kona! Even after recovering from Cancer, completing chemo in November I knew I would have my work cut out to beat her. Our competitive rivalry goes back 30 years!
Swimming was always my weakest discipline, Steve and I worked on this first, I saw big improvements quite quickly in technique, but still needed swim fitness over distance, which has come following the planned sessions. This really helped as I amazed myself with a big PB in the swim leg in Wanaka, in what was the roughest lake I have ever swam. The bike leg was really hard with many hills and a strong headwind, it was amazing scenery. I will admit to having to enjoy the view a few times. I knew I did not have much left for the run, which is mostly a trail run round the lake and through woods. I faded badly in the last couple of miles. Lessons learned, need more bike miles and plan better nutrition strategy on the route. I did beat Moira, but I have to say her journey to the start line was much tougher.
After returning from New Zealand, a few weeks at home, with the weather starting to improve, started picking up the mileage on the bike. Long weekend rides with the Goole Roadies, plus turbo sessions.
Then it was off to Majorca for Tri camp. I really saw how much I had improved in all disciplines in the past 12 months. The bay was admittedly much calmer this year, but I had more confidence in the water and the cone run was great fun rather than a challenge. As for going up hills so much more comfortable improved pace. Going downhill, well let’s just say self-preservation kicks in too soon. Sa Collabra was really enjoyable this year, riding with Stephen Cannings, Dan Ellis, Graham Cowan, we pushed each other up.
The last few weeks has seen competition start. North Lincs half marathon first, a massive 4 minute PB finishing in 1:39. Last weekend the Slateman, always an event to get the season off to a challenge. This year I entered the savage, sprint on Saturday followed by long distance on Sunday. Good test of stamina to compete on consecutive days. The weather was, Welsh…., all seasons in one day. A very wet and windy bike ride on Saturday. A very wet start on Sunday, but the reward of a tail wind down the Ogwen valley and fantastic views of Tryfan and the Glyydrs. The run up the quarries has in previous years been a brisk walk, this year it was a slow run. I am not sure there was any speed difference, but it felt good as I was overtaking people. Another great time 3:35, which is 10 minutes quicker than last year, when the swim was cut to 500meters and a massive 30+ minutes quicker than the year before.
So with 4 weeks to go to Austria. One more race the Leeds ITU Olympic distance, just for fun.
A couple more 100+ bike rides and long weekend runs, then our road trip to Austria begins. I am beginning to get nervous, but know I will get round. I have kept to the plan as much as work has allowed had to switch sessions around a bit but I know without it, I will have not seen my swim, bike run times improve.